Update: Light brown apple moth spraying halted in Santa Cruz County

Breaking news: A Santa Cruz County judge this morning ruled that the state of California has not provided enough evidence of an emergency and must, thus, complete an environmental impact report on the light brown apple moth before spraying in that county can resume.

And thanks to the reporting of Michele Ellson over at the island, we know that a host of environmental watch dog groups—despite portrayals to the contrary by the State of California—oppose plans to spray the city of Alameda and other Bay Area cities and towns with an untested and possibly unnecessary synthetic moth pheromone delivered in tiny plastic microcapsules.

The more I read about the moth—and, trust me, reading about it in all its complexity gives me a headache—the more it becomes clear that the reason for the rush to erradication (the possiblity of which many experts dispute) has to do with trade embargoes (Mexico has imposed embargoes on agriculture products from areas with the moth) and loss of business for our growers. It begins to seem like it’s more a trade issue—the moth does not result in quarantines in other world regions—than an environmental one. So let’s work to change trade requirements.